For May the Fourth I attended a Star Wars themed party, so of course I had to make something in-theme to contribute! I decided on these porg-shaped rice balls, which are rice balls rolled in crushed sesame, with nori accents and a chunk of cucumber in the middle for extra crunch. They turned out adorable, if I do say so myself, and were popular with party-goers, so I consider them a success!
While you can make these without any special tools, it’s a lot faster and easier to do if you have the right equipment. I used a nori punch for the facial features, and a rice-roll press to make my pieces evenly shaped and well-compressed. That being said, you can feel free to shape your rice by hand (wet hands make it easier) and to cut out eyes and mouths with scissors. I would definitely recommend using the parchment paper cutout to mask off the white parts of the rice during the sesame step, though!
Anyway, here’s the recipe, which is more of a process:
Porg Rice Balls
Sushi rice, cooked and seasoned to taste*
Crushed sesame seeds (toasted if possible)
*To season rice, combine rice vinegar, sugar, and salt in a glass measuring cup and microwave until the sugar and salt dissolve. Pour over your rice and mix until coated. I use a ratio (by volume) of 2:2:1 for these ingredients– use as much or as little as you like.
I used a nori punch from this set for my faces.
Spoon the seasoned rice into a roll-shaped mold and press down with wet fingers. Add cucumber chunks and top with more rice. Press the top of the mold down firmly to form rolls.
Use wet hands to shape the rolls into a slightly more porg-shaped form.
Cut pieces of parchment paper to mask off parts of the porg, and press to the surface of the rice with your fingers. Put the rice face-down into a bowl of crushed sesame seeds and roll to cover all surfaces. Then peel off the parchment to reveal the white section.
Stick nori facial features onto the porg– they should stick on their own.
Arrange on a platter so they can glare at you disapprovingly as you eat the rest of your food.